It’s your girl Ms V, back with a few diet tips to help you achieve a fierce looking body (flat stomach in particular) for summer… And beyond!
Keep in mind: you have to put in the work (ie. exercising, eating more nutrient-dense foods, keeping adequately hydrated and rested) and be patient with your body as the results reveal themselves.
Every body is different.. The effort you put forth to achieving a toned figure, will contribute to the overall wellness of your body (it’s all about balance!)
Before I get into the fat busting foods, let’s talk about a few lifestyle factors + what the body goes through/needs when trying to maintain a strong abdominal area:
1. WATER. I cannot stress this enough. Diet change or not, (filtered) water is crucial; PERIOD! Water provides energy so that the body may burn calories and flush toxins out of the system. Without it, the body becomes overworked and dehydrated forcing itself to retain what little water it may have left (bloating!) and eventually slowing down in function.
The result? No calories are burned (stored in excess as fat) and toxins remain in the system.
2. POSTURE and BREATHING. You may chuckle at this, but proper posture and correct breathing play a huge role in how our organs function. Let me start with posture.
Stand tall, shoulders back, head held high and abdomen tight and slightly tilted inward.
What exactly does this have to with maintaining a toned belly, you may ask? Well, all organs are strategically placed within the body, allowing enough space (according to their shape and size) to function optimally. Correct posture contributes to this.
Incorrect posture (along with a weak abdominal area) over time, causes certain muscle groups to be used incorrectly or become overworked. Think of someone who may have an excess of abdominal fat (not what you “think” is excess, rather, what is obvious to the eyes).
This excess weight pulls on the spine, shifting it’s natural curvature. This also leads to a slight shift in organs within the abdominal cavity, as now there is physical pressure being set against the organs (abnormal expansion a.k.a. excess fat).
Abdominal and lower back muscles are weakened as the body tries to compensate for this “shift”, by using different muscle groups to maintain posture.
This may cause some people to walk with a gait and/or expand their chest area, almost as if they are leaning backwards, in order to stand upright.
Excess abdominal weight can impair the function of certain organs like the liver and kidneys from filtering waste out ( If excess abdominal weight is carried low, it will effect the organs found in the lower area of the abdomen).
For women, the excess weight can also put pressure on our reproductive area (uterus), which is never a good thing.
Excess abdominal weight also puts pressure on the heart to pump more volumes of blood at a higher rate, fatiguing lungs as well… Especially if the weight is carried high.
Got you thinking now about your posture? I hope so! Lol
Now, let’s chat about breathing. Short, shallow breathing does not allow for proper oxygen flow throughout the body… Leading to physical stress.
…Stress begins in the mind…When the brain is robbed of adequate oxygen, it cannot communicate optimally with the rest of the body (stress!!) <–Remember this..
Deep breathing oxygenates and refreshes blood as it travels throughout the body. Deep breathing is also another means to control blood pressure, decrease overall stress on the body, aids digestion and remove toxins from the blood.
3.CORTISOL. A hormone responsible for redirecting fat storage to the abdominal area during moments of stress, including inadequate rest. Decrease stress levels and you’ve taken one step of many towards decreasing cortisol levels.
Crying over a dude while eating a whole tub of ice cream may contribute to abdominal (and overall) weight gain; but the stress/cortisol combo more than likely plays a huge role too.
4. EXERCISE. I hope you didn’t think I forgot about this! Very crucial to keeping your body (and abs) fit, toned and free of excess fat.
Fat is needed in our body’s and diets (depending on height, age, weight) to cushion organs, energy and for thermal purposes, but it is the excess that is dangerous. Get your heart rate up at the minimum of 3 times per week, through various activities so you can burn baby, burn!
A lot of times, we do not consider the first three factors as contributors to increased body fat ( no matter where it is stored in the body). Instead, we focus on food and calories as the main contributors to weight gain and weight loss.
All four are critical in maintaining a healthy weight and a sexy six-pack (if that’s what you’re going for lol).
At the end of the day, it really boils down to your lifestyle and how you can nourish your body with good stress (physical activity) and do away with the bad (that raises cortisol levels).
Catch me on the flip side in part two, where I’ll share a list of belly busting foods to include in your diet.
Ms. V XO
“Using my knowledge to empower and inspire.. freshblackberry …Live.Well.Inspire.”